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Need help to decide on which camera to buy!!!!!


Hi everyone,  


This is my frst time on the forum. This will be a multi-question post. 

( 1 ) I want to know if anyone has purchased the 5D Mark III  and the new 5D S model.  If you have, what is your opinion between the two?

( 2 ) How old is the Mark III and will they bring out a new Mark III or higher model in the near future or is the 5D S the replacement for the Mark III ???  

( 3 ) I am not very tech savy when it comes to technical specs for cameras. I did a feature comparison between the two models and while there may be many new and different features between both, the major upgrades that I see on the 5D S are the almost double (50 Megapixels) and two seperate DIGIC 6 image processor.  Is there a dramatic difference in image quality and processing speed with those two upgrades on the 5D S compared to the Mark III???  


- Thank You in advance for taking the time to reply. 



IMHO, I would but a 5D Mk III if that is what I wanted.  Why?  Because no matter what camera Canon may come out with does not deny the fact the 5D Mk II is a fantastic camera.  They can come out with a 5D Mk 10 and the 5D Mk III is still a very good camera.


" Is there a dramatic difference in image quality and processing speed with those two upgrades on the 5D S compared to the Mark III???"


Of course there is.  They wouldn't come out with a lesser camera.  However, it may not be a huge deal breaker or maker for your requirements.  Which are?



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

These are both very high end cameras for a beginner, but that is your money and your decision. You will want to read some books and watch a lot of YouTube tutorials, etc., to get your money's worth from either one.

The 5ds has a lot more megapixels, yes, but that slows down the frames per second the computer inside can handle, even with its greater processing muscle. The 50mp camera will also create enormous files which are more trouble to store and which will be slower to process in Lightroom or whatever post processing program you use.

For normal shooting, or for sports and fast action I would go 5d3. It is a stellar multipurpose camera.
I might go 5ds for serious studio work or serious landscape shooting if I had the real need and the budget for it.

Don't forget that lenses are much more important to photography than camera bodies. A good lens will make a good image on a cheap camera but a cheap lens on an expensive body won't. And a lens you can't afford to buy at all because you spent the whole budget on a body obviously won't help you either. Save budget for good lenses whatever you do.

As Biggs asked, what do you shoot?

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?


Both 5DIII and 5DS are "full frame" cameras, meaning their sensors are approx. 24 x 36mm... so my first question to you would be: Do you really need a full frame camera? Also, do you already have a camera, and if do, what camera, what do you shoot with it, and how experienced are you?


Both 5DIII and 5DS are excellent cameras, but the majority of DSLRs sold are "crop sensor" cameras that use somewhat smaller sensors and have some advantages. Key among those advantages is lower price. But they also can be smaller, lighter, and can use a wider range the available lenses in the system, which also can be smaller, lighter and less expensive.


Canon's APS-C sensor cameras (7DII, 70D, 60D, and all the Rebel series) can use all the EF and all the EF-S lenses that Canon produces, as well as all the "full frame" and all the "crop only" lenses produced by third party manufacturers (i.e., Sigma, Tamron, Tokina). 


In comparison, a full frame camera such as 5DIII or 5DS can only use full frame capable EF lenses, as well as full frame lenses made by third party manufacturers. To be used on full frame, the lens must produce a large enough image circle to cover the bigger sensor, which in turn means the lens typically needs to be larger, heavier and often is more expensive.


Now, in spite of this there's a very good selection of lenses for full frame cameras. And there are some very good reasons to choose a full frame camera over one with a crop sensor. One is that you can make larger prints from a FF camera. The image simply needs less magnification, so is bound to be more enlargeable. You likely won't see much difference between crop and FF up to about 13x19 or maybe even 16x24" print sizes, maybe even larger... but beyond that degree of enlargement the bigger sensor will  start to show it's superiority  and very large prints will hold up better. For this reason, someone shooting scenic landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes or architecture... all of which often sometimes printed quite large... might prefer a full frame model. For commercial uses, too, a full frame image may be needed.


Another thought... If you do a lot of challenging low light photography a FF model would be a better choice. In simple terms, this is because the bigger sensor is less "crowded" with pixel sites, so there is less "cross talk" between the sites and heat generated during exposure is dissipated better, making for lower levels of image noise. The Canon 6D and 5DIII are very low noise cameras, meaning you can use them at very high ISO settings to shoot in low light.


I don't have 5DS (yet!) so can't say for sure, but I wouldn't expect it to handle super high ISOs as well as the lower resolution models. The "native range" of ISOs on 5DIII goes up to ISO 12800, while on 5DS it goes to 6400. That's still quite high and both cameras have "expanded ISO" range up to 102400. But it appears Canon is not making claim that the 5DS is a super high ISO model.


The new 5DS is sort of a different animal. While it's a "full frame" DSLR and competes with some other DSLR manufacturers' highest resolution models, the 5DS also competes with medium format digital cameras such as Leaf/Mamiya, Hasselblad and others, that have largely been "pro-only". The 5DS offers similar resolution and image qualities to those medium format digital cameras, but is smaller, lighter, more versatile and a lot less expensive compared to medium format cameras.


5DS have just started selling and so far there are limited users out there giving us feedback. Most nerw users and reviewers give it very high praise, but I've also seen comments that you'd better have a very big, fast and powerful computer set up to be able to work with the very large image files the 50MP camera produces. As you might expect, compared to any other Canon camera the 5DS's image files take at least twice as much time to download, twice as long to open up and process in-computer, and occupy about double the amount of storage space on memory cards and hard disks. The 50MP is amazing and fantastic, but also demanding. Canon has even issued a list of their lenses that it feels are up to the sheer resolution of the camera.


If you Google "5DS review" you'll find some folks reporting on it and comparing it with other cameras, including 5DIII, with much more detailed info, test results and sample images. There also are beginning to be some reviews of the 5DS on the Canon USA website (there are lots of comments about the 5DIII).


I do not shoot video with DSLRs, so this is far from my area of expertise. However, I understand the 5DS is not ideal for that purpose, if it's one of your planned uses. I have heard that 20 to 25MP cameras are better for videography. In other words, the 5DIII might be a better choice for video... but look to others with more experience than me, regarding video and DSLRs. (Note: I recently read that the new Mad Max movie made extensive use of 5D Mark II cameras, as have a number of other movies.) 


No, I don't believe the 5DS/5DS-R is intended to be or will replace the 5DIII. There is still need for a more modest resolution FF camera for a lot of reasons. The 5DIII is now a three year old model, but it is still filling its role quite well. So I think it's almost certain there will be a 5D Mark IV...  But it's anyone's guess when it will be available and what it's features  might be. The 5DIII is going to be tough to improve upon!


So you'll have to decide:


Do you really need a full frame camera?


If so, what will you be shooting with it? You can choose among:

-  1DX (high performance, high speed action/sports, durable and sealed)

-  5DS/5DS-R (super high resolution, medium format pro oriented)

- 5DIII (versatile, pro-oriented)

- 6D (smaller, lighter, less expensive, more beginner-friendly...and considered by many to be the most low-light capable)


If you don't need full frame, you have even more choices, both in cameras and in lenses, including:

- 7D II (high performance, high speed, pro-oriented, durable and sealed)

- 70D (versatile pro-sumer model)

- T6i/T6s (newest 24MP crop sensor, most advanced AF in Rebel series)

- T5i/T3i (affordable, full featured consumer models, beginner friendly)

- SL1 (super compact and lightweight) 

- T3/T5 (most affordable and beginner friendly)


All the above cameras are very capable of making excellent images when used properly. I don't know you or your level of experience with Canon or any other SLR/DSLR gear, so need to point out that more pro-oriented, high-end models tend to be more complex and have less "support" for inexperienced users. Many photographers would be well-advised to "learn to walk" with a more consume-oriented model before they "try to run" with one of the most advanced pro-oriented models.


I also don't know what other gear you already have in your kit or your intended uses for the new camera. It seems to me that a lot of people over-buy their camera and then under-spend on lenses and other accessories that would be more useful to them. All the above cameras are fully able to make images to share online at Internet resolutions or make very fine prints up to the largest more common sizes. If you need to make particularly large images, or capture very fast action, or shoot without flash in exceptionally low light, you may need some of the more advanced models.


Hope this helps with your decisions. Have fun shopping!



Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories











The 5D III and 5DS bodies are very "technical" cameras and are not targeted to first-time users.  That doesn't mean you should avoid them, but just be prepared to do some reading if that's the path you want to take.  Most of the complexity is the camera's rather sophisticated focus system.  Previous models had a very simplistic focus system that was easily mastered -- just 9 auto-focus points.  The 5D III has 61 auto-focus points and adds a lot of options as to how the camera should achieve and follow focus that the older bodies never had.


The 6D is a bit more user-friendly.  It has an 11 point focus system which is rather straight-forward to use.  


As for the diffrences... there are two major differences between these cameras.


The 5DS bodies have significantly higher image resolution (more on that in a moment).

The 5D III body has significantly higher ISO performance.


The 5DS and 5DS R have extremely high sensor resolution (50 MP) but there are a lot of nuances to keep in mind.  

  • Most uses of images don't use all the resolution we have with cameras offering half that much resolution.  If you primarily display images on the computer, a 5D III already has higher resolution than nearly any computer monitor (I have a Mac with a 5K display -- it's 5120 x 2880 pixels and is one of the very highest in the industry.  But my 5D III has a max resolution of 5760 x 3840.  So even with my iMac 5K display... I still can't display all the data from my camera.
  • To use more of the image data... you'll have to print... and you'll have to print big.  If you're not into shooting images that you plan to print in large size and hang on a wall... the 5D S is probably not for you.
  • Also... when you have staggeringly high sensor resolution... no cheaping-out on lenses.  You'll need the highest quality lenses you can get to take advantage of the resolution.   The glass in entry-level lenses will not be able to achieve detail resolving power high enough to be noticeable in a 50MP image.
  • Lastly... you'll need to keep the f-stop low.  When you push light through a tiny opening, it spreads out with a wave-like behavior.  The tinier the opening, the more it spreads (which seems contrary -- but that's physics).   A 5D III is not diffraction limited at all at f/8.  But it is just slightly diffraction limited by f/11.  A 5DS, on the other hand, actually is diffraction limited by f/8.  You'd want to keep the camera down to f/5.6 or lower to avoid diffraction.  Also, the 5DS R has no anti-aliasing filter.  The anti-aliasing filter is designed to eliminate (or at least reduce) the effects of "moire" in an image that has certain patterns (see:é_pattern )  While the anti-aliasing filter reduces or eliminates moire, it also has the side-effect of slightly soften the image.  To get the very sharpest image, the 5DS R eliminates the filter.  This is good for nature which tends to not have patterns consisting of perfectly straight parallel lines (it's a great landscape lens).  But in architecture, you do tend to see patterns that would result in moire -- so the 5DS (without the "R" suffix) is probably the better choice.

That's a lot to think about ... just with respect to the sensor resolution alone.  But then there's the topic of ISO.


  • The 5D III has significantly higher ISO performance.  A wedding photographer typically shoots in churches and reception venues with rather poor lighting.  ISO performance is very important.  Indoor sports... poor lighting again.  Nighttime sports... more poor lighting.  The 5D III has a max ISO of 25,600.  But all images look bad if they are shot at max ISO.  But the max ISO on the 5D III is so high that shooting at ISO's such as 3200 or 6400 are basically no big deal. 
  • The 5DS and 5DS R have a max ISO of 6400 (normal range -- you can get into an expanded range).  But ideally you'd keep it to ISO 1600 or lower.  HOWEVER... I should say that in fairness, when you "resample" an image down to a lower resolution, it tends to clean up a lot of noise.  If you resample the image from a 5DS down to the resolution of the 5D III they will look a lot better.

The 5DS will do well if you shoot in good lighting or if you have the ability to control the lighting (e.g. using supplemental lighting, etc.)


The 5D III has been out for a few years.  Will there be a 5D mark IV?  Almost certainly there will be -- but nobody knows when (at least those who know aren't talking.)  The "rumors" suggest that such a camera will NOT be released in 2015 (likely a 2016 product.)  


I do have to make a point about rumors.  I shot film for years.  Then I decided to "dip" my toe into the digital SLR market and I didn't want to over-spend if I hated it.  So I bought a Canon EOS Rebel T1i (which at that time was the newest Rebel on the market.)  I was happy with it and decided it was time to invest in digital.  I planned to buy a 5D II (the newest 5D series body at the time.)  My photographer friends told me to wait... the 5D II had been out long enough that the rumors were convinced a 5D III would be out in about 3-6 months.  So I waited...


After 6 months, there was no 5D III... but the rumors were that it was just another 3-6 months away... so I waited again... and this goes on for 2 full years of me missing out on the 5D II.  


After 2 years of waiting, my other half decides it's silly for someone to wait 2 years because the rumors are constantly suggesting the "new model" will be out in "3-6 months".  So he bought me the 5D II for my birthday.  


About 3 months after I got the 5D II... the 5D III came out <sigh>.


My point is... if you need a camera today... buy it today.  Don't worry about the rumors.  If you fear having out-dated technology then we should all wait until we're pretty sure we only have about 1 day left to live... and then buy everything!  That way we never have to worry about owning out-dated gear.  😉   The down-side of this strategy is that you don't get to enjoy owning the latest gear for very long.  



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


Thank you everyone for your very informative and well thought out responses. 


I currently own and use an EOS Rebel XSi. I've had it for about 7 years now and have been waiting to upgrade for a bit. I own a small number of lenses but my favorite is the fixed 50mm f/1.4. I held off on upgrading for a variety of reasons. One being the expense and two, I wanted to really learn and use the XSi as best as I can. I'm by no means anywhere near a professional but I love looking at really great pictures. I'm definitely more of a hobbyist when it comes to photography. 


I've already expressed my fear to my husband that I would end up buying a camera that would be too much camera for me to handle. So I think I'm going to hold off on upgrading to any of the 5D series because of just that. I read every single response at least twice and based on all the great information and advice given I've decided to change my selection and work on beefing up my lens collection. 


Alan and Tim, I wanted to specifically thank you both for your very detailed replies. It's really helped me a ton. 


Thanks again to everyone who took the time out to reply to my post. 



@Joleystar wrote:

Thank you everyone for your very informative and well thought out responses. 


I currently own and use an EOS Rebel XSi. I've had it for about 7 years now and have been waiting to upgrade for a bit. I own a small number of lenses but my favorite is the fixed 50mm f/1.4. I held off on upgrading for a variety of reasons.


Alan and Tim, I wanted to specifically thank you both for your very detailed replies. It's really helped me a ton. 


Thanks again to everyone who took the time out to reply to my post. 



I'm nowhere near the knowledge level as any of the excellent peeps that responded here, and sure can't speak for anyone.  But I don't think they were trying to discourage you from upgrading since you have an older DSLR.   The choice is yours.  I think the main point was to make an intelligent choice on an upgrade if you did that, and get a DSLR that's right for you and your skill level.  They want you to know the consequences of going overboard on more camera than your skill level can handle.  A newer body may serve you well, maybe not..... but there's been many improvements in recent years.  New lens may work better with a more update body, and sure won't hurt with your present body.  There's many very reasonable  priced, excellent DSLR's to choose as an upgrade as has been mentioned.  My Canon 60D is appox $500.00, and a few new Rebels can be had around that price.  The 7D is a tad more and a good bargain also.  You can research and check on things while you decide how you want to go, with the knowledge you don't have to spend a arm and leg to get decent gear, and better performance

Okay, seeing that you have some experience with a DSLR, that makes a big difference.


On your XSi, that favorite 50mm lens acts as a short telephoto... excellent for portraits, among other things.


If you were to get a full frame 5DIII or 5DS, you'd likely want to get an 85mm lens to have roughly the same angle of view as you do now with the 50mm on your present camera. On a full frame camera the 50mm becomes a "standard" lens. I can relate to this because I have that lens too. I tend use it and like it a lot more on my crop sensor cameras, than on my full frame (5DII). This is a personal bias.. I've just never been all that enthralled with "standard" lenses and tend to use wides and telephotos instead. So the 50mm is near the top of my lens list on crop cameras, but not one of my favorites on full frame. You may feel differently... lots of people really like 50mm lens on full frame.


60D, 70D or 7D Mark II all would be significant upgrades for you... and all have the same sensor format as your present camera, so would allow your 50mm to continue to serve the same purposes and render images in the same way. The main differences between these three cameras is probably their auto focus systems. All are a step up from XSi... The 18MP 60D's is a familiar 9-point with a fixed focus screen, except that on 60D all nine points are the better "cross type", where on your XSi, only the center one is that type. The 20MP 70D inherited much of the 19-point AF system of the original 7D, while the 7D Mark II has one the most advanced AF systems of any Canon camera currently offered, a 65-point system. Both the 70D 19-point \ and 7DII 65-point are all "cross type", and both use active matrix/transmissive LCD focus screens (which reconfigure themselves depending upon focus pattern setup and other factors).


Moving from a Rebel series model to any of these cameras also is a step up from a penta-mirror to a true pentaprism, which makes for a little bit brighter and larger viewfinder. All these cameras also have higher shutter speed (1/8000) and higher flash sync speed (1/250) than your XSI (1/4000 & 1/200). The controls of the 60D and 70D would seem more famiiliar, but add more direct access to some commonly used features, compared to your XSi. They also have an articulated LCD monitor. 7DII is more robust, bigger and heavier (weighs about the same as 5D-series models, in fact), with a mostly metal and better sealed body. It's controls are a bit more geared toward very fast handling and a little more different from your XSi's, than the other two models. sdf


Incidentally, the newest small sernsor DSLR Canon is now offering actually are a pair of Rebel series models... T6i and T6s. These are 24MP and have adopted a 19-point autofocus system similar to the 70D and 7D (original). The main differences between them are the control layout... the T6i is more similar to your camera, while the slightly more expensive T6s is more similar to 70D. There are a bunch of "firsts" for a Rebel series, in these two new models.


If you have and use any EF-S lenses with your present camera, those would all be fully usable with the above cameras. With 5D-series or any of  the full frame cameras, those lenses would not work and would need to be replaced with an EF lenses. In fact, the 50MP 5DS is so high resolution, that Canon has come out with a short list of "recommended lenses" that are up to the camera... many of which are premium L-series.


Not sayin' don't get a full frame or don't get a new camera.... Just be aware of what you are getting into and try to get what meets your needs best. We still don't know what you like to shoot... so can't really comment of which models of cameras might be better for your purposes.



Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories



Hello again! 


I'm sorry for having everyone shooting in the dark with all of your helpful advice.  My everyday use for me with my camera is just to capture random things in my daily life.  I shoot almost 80 - 90% still photos of random things.  Hopefully someone can picture what I am talking about.  In that mix of shooting I love shooting candid photos.  I love to see pictures in motion and would love to have something that can help me get better quality candid photos.  Something very big on my wish list in a new camera, is video capabilities.  


To clarify on my new decision with camera choices.  I feel that the 5D series will be my Holy Grail in the distant future.  Based on all the info I have gathered from all of you, I have decided to drop the 5D series for now and concentrate on a camera that is not overwhelming and something that I can manage.  So, I am instead looking to consider from top to bottom the 6D(full frame), 7D, 70D, and maybe T6 series.  For a long time I have been putting off going to a proffesional camera store to touch and play with these cameras.  So, I honestly don't know yet what will feel right on my hands when I touch them.  Most of these major electronics retail stores don't have floor demo models of the high end cameras.  They sell them, but I can't touch one unless I buy one online and have it shipped ( It's so stupid ).  


Also now I have a better understanding of the power that a lense has over a camera.  So I will focus on buying better lenses as well.  


My husband has been helping with my recent camera frenzy and has found the only one of maybe three camera repairs places in Nashville.  This one is the closest and probably the better place to go. Obviously it says that they sell cameras as well.  We have not been there yet but I hope they have a good selection of cameras to play with. 

"I am instead looking to consider from top to bottom the 6D(full frame), 7D, 70D, and maybe T6 series."


A somewhat strange combo to lump together?  With the exceotion of the 7D none of these really qualify as a pro body.  And the 7D is really just an entry level pro body, if that is your goal.


" For a long time I have been putting off going to a proffesional camera store to touch and play with these cameras. "They sell them, but I can't touch one ..."


You need a different camera store.  My local pro shop, Overland Photo Supply will let me play with a new purchase all I want.  If you meant Best Buy, however, it is NOT a pro camera store.  Not by a long shot. Nashville surely has a real pro camera shop?  Most big cities have at least one.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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